Book / Movie Review

[BOOK REVIEW] ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins will Blow your Mind

I started this book to fill up my leisure time,Ended up with the book consuming and disrupting my entire routine.

The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins is a psychological Thriller, that will keep you hooked until its very last page.

At one point I felt like I was being watched by someone- that is the narrative power of ‘The Girl on the Train’. There was one point where I literally had to shut down the book, late at night, and let the terror of what I read, seep in.

  • Book Title: The Girl on the Train
  • Author: Paula Hawkins
  • Published: January 13, 2015
  • Genre: Fiction, Crime Thriller, Mystery
  • Rating: 5/5

What is the Story of Girl on a Train?

Every morning, Rachel Watson catches the same commuter train. The train waits at the same signal every day, from where she catches sight of a couple living in a nearby house.

She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses and she gives them names- 'Jess and Jason'. As she sees them on the balcony everyday, she assumes their lives to be nearly perfect. She was a divorcee and used to wonder if she could be that happy.

But then, one day, she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, and all her illusions fell apart. Nothing is the same anymore. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train.

About the Characters in The Girl on The Train

  • Tom Watson and Anna Watson Couple with a daughter, Evie
  • Rachel Watson- Ex- Wife of Tom Watson
  • Jason and Jess (Couple who Rachel used to see everyday from train. This was the name she gave them)
  • Scott and Meghan (Real name of Jason and Jess)

About the Cover of The Girl on The Train

The Girl on the Train Summary, Paula Hawkins, Thriller Book

The cover of the book was not quite flattering keeping in context the story line but that’s the beauty of this book, its story has got so many people talking that cover wasn’t even worth considering. When I picked up this book, my expectations were overly high (Oh, Top notch psychological thriller of the year) for I go berserk over psychological thrillers.

The cover would have served justice if it had the eye of illuminati somewhere (weird analogy but satisfying and just)

The Girl on the Train vs Gone Girl- Theme of the Book

  • Several people have drawn collation between ‘The Girl on the Train’ and ‘Gone Girl’ and I can say it is pretty must justified to some extent.
  •  In both the cases there were adults turning screwballs while dealing with their collapsed relationships, undealth relationship issues, personal insecurities and dealing with the consequences of them all. This is the extent to which both of them are similar. 
  • But ‘The Girl on the Train’ is a lot beastly than ‘Gone Girl’. ‘Gone Girl’ just had one deranged wife spilling beans all over whereas ‘The Girl on the Train’ has a whole bunch of such psychopathic people dealing caught up in the complexities. All the characters are clearly flawed, someway or the other.
  • However, the theme of ‘The Girl on the Train’ and ‘Gone Girl’ teaches us a lot about life. It tells you how terribly wired our brains are, how wrong could relationships and marriages go, and how we face the troubles getting over what once was a happy place.
  • In a fast paced thriller style, this book teaches us how unfair life can be and how sometimes you have to face the consequences of the deeds done by your closed ones.(Even if you were not at fault)

The Girl on the Train Summary

 

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 ‘The Girl on the Train’ is Rachel Watson. She is a 32 year old woman, usually drunken high on excessively alcoholic, trying to recoil from the end of her marriage to Tom, who abandoned her for another woman, Anna Watson. 

Due to excessive alcoholism, she gets severe blackouts to such an extent that she loses touch with the memory of what she did when she was high. Alcohol had also cost her the job.

When she used to wake up the next day after acute memory loss, Tom usually used to be angry with her for she used to harass Tom, to an extent of severe Violence (In one case, Rachel tried to harm Tom, as a result of which there was a huge cavity in one of the walls caused by hammering Golf stick to it with utmost brunt).

However, she used to have little or absolutely no memory of these acts when she used to get sober.  Tom is now married to Anna, and both of them are parents to Evie- their daughter.  This however further incinerates Rachel and serves as fuel to her self- destructive tendencies for it was her inability to conceive a child that landed her into alcoholism. 

Rachel follows her old routine of taking the train to London everyday (She was fired from Job but she feigns it in front of her friend Cathy, that she still has it) and like always her train slowly passes her old house, where Tom, Anna, and Evie now live. (The Same house where she used to live once)

 A few Houses away from Tom’s house, she observes a perfect couple everyday and names them Jason and Jess (Originally- Scott and Megan).  She idolizes their love story, though she has no idea that their life is far from perfect. 

Megan Hipwell (who Rachel named as Jess) is not much happy with her life and seeks refuge by taking a series of lovers. She also sought medical help by seeing a therapist, Dr. Kamal Abdic, to whom she reveals a dark secret she carried with herself, all these years.

 One day on her journey, she saw Megan kissing another man.  This was the last memory she had when she woke up the next day- extremely drunk and her head severely injured (She had no memory of what had happened)

That day when she moves out of the house, she is stunned to acknowledge that Meghan is missing. She is questioned by the police after Anna reports having seen her drunkenly staggering around the night of Megan's disappearance. 

 Rachel gets involved in the Missing Meghan’s case,  becomes absorbed and tells the police she thinks Megan was having an affair. She takes yet another leap and contacts Megan's husband, Scott ("Jason"). She reveals to him the truth of how she saw Meghan with another guy, although she lied that she was friends with Meghan (To get Scott to believe him)

After course of events, Rachel learns that the man she saw kissing Megan was Kamal. (The Therapist)

Rachel tries to learn more about Kamal and so makes a therapy appointment with him to see if he can help her recall the events that happened during her blackout that night. Rachel begins to gain insight into her life by speaking with him, inadvertently benefiting from the therapy, while Kamal suspects nothing, 

Although the foundation of her connection with Kamal and Scott was built on lies, she enjoys the attention which gives her refuge from drinking for a few days (But she always relapses)

And one day Meghan’s body is found buried. It was revealed that she was pregnant and her unborn child was fathered by neither Scott nor Kamal.

FAST FORWARD

  • Scott discovers Rachel's lies and lashes out at her. In the heat of the moment her memories become clearer. Rachel remembers seeing Megan get into Tom's car.
  •  Anna discovers that Tom and Megan were having an affair from the cell phone she received from Tom’s gym Bag. 
  • Rachel starts recalling the memories, she thought she never had, which revealed the dark truth about how Tom manipulated her into believing that she did many of the crazy things while being drunk whereas the things never happened. Stitching her scattered self and carrying the realization that Tom killed Meghan, she warns Anna.
  •  When Anna confronts him, Tom confesses to murdering Megan after she threatened to reveal that he had gotten her pregnant.  Anna is cowed, fearing for her daughter's safety. Tom tries to beat and intimidate Rachel into keeping silent, but she defies him and fights back. Knowing he is about to kill her,  Rachel stabs Tom in the neck with a corkscrew; Anna helps Rachel make sure that he dies from the wound.  
  • Rachel and Anna coordinated their stories to explain their actions as self-defence, when the police arrives and now finally free, Rachel decides to quit drinking and move on with her life.

The Girl on The Train Official YouTube Trailer

Is Girl on the Train a true story?

The Girl on the Train is a 2016 American mystery thriller drama film directed by Tate Taylor and written by Erin Cressida Wilson, based on British author Paula Hawkins' popular 2015 debut novel of the same name. It is a Psychological thriller fiction.